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Trump insisted h.i s inaugural crowd was the biggest in history, even in the fa e of clear photographic evidence that it wasn't; his then-spokesman Sean Spicer reinterpreted "crowd size" to really mean "audience around the globe"; when that did not help, Trump's counsellor Kellyanne Conway coined the now infamous phrase "alternative facts". T his was widely mocked as implying that, when reality renders your lies "fake news", you can simply move to an "alternative reality" where your assertions are true. Since then, members of the "reality-based community" -- to use a phrase that originated from the Bush administration -- have been treated to a spectacular series of claims, retractions aml denials, most recently culminating in Rudy Giuliani's pithy, if utterly confused, pronouncement that "truth isn't truth".

"pithy" seems to have a positive meaning; it means a thoughtful statement. But then what is the meaning of "if utterly confused"?

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  • pithy doesn't mean "thoughtful". It means "short, but expressive". Confused has its usual dictionary meaning. – James K Apr 4 at 5:54
  • @JamesK So what is the meaning of all that: the statement is short but confused? – Sasan Apr 4 at 6:00
  • Yes. It is short, but so confused that it is meaningless – James K Apr 4 at 7:05
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Pithy means 'terse and vigorously expressive'

Confused is used normally.

The if in 'pithy, if utterly confused, pronouncement' emphasises the antithesis: loosely reworded, 'expressive, and yet idiotic, pronouncement'

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